Meet the astronauts going to the ISS

SpaceX, partnership with NASA, will launch its first operational Crew Dragon mission, designated Crew-1, to the International Space Station (ISS), this weekend.

The Crew Dragon spacecraft, named Resilience, will launch atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre. Watch the live stream here.

SpaceX x NASA Launch: What you need to know

Crew-1 launch on Falcon 9 rocket

SpaceX was set to launch four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) this Saturday, for the first time since the successful “Launch America” crewed test flight in May 2020.

spacex nasa crew 1 international space station 1
Crew-1 astronauts in quarantine ahead of their trip to the International Space Station aboard the Crew Dragon capsule. Image via Twitter: @JimBridenstine.

Astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi have been in quarantine since 31 October 2020 and are all members of the Expedition 64 crew.

“Proud of our Crew-1 astronauts! I had the opportunity to speak with them today ahead of launch. Shannon Walker is a fellow @RiceUniversity Owl, so I thought we’d show our Rice spirit! #LaunchAmerica“

Jim Bridenstine

NASA also confirmed that the first stage booster will be reused to fly astronauts on Crew-2, the second crewed operational flight of a Crew Dragon spacecraft on 30 March 2021.

Watch: NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-1 launch to ISS

Note: NASA TV broadcasts 24/7. Scroll down for the Crew-1 launch schedule, including dates and times for the various mission events and press conferences.

Crew-1 date and time

The Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center LC-39A atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on 15 November 2020 at 19:27 Eastern Standard Time (EST).

For SA viewers, that would be Sunday at 2:27 South African Standard Time (SAST) on Monday morning, 16 November. But if you’re watching from elsewhere in the world, that would be:

  • 16:27 PT (Pacific Time, 15 November)
  • 18:27 Central Time (CT, 15 November) in the United States
  • 1:27 British Summer Time (BST, 15 November)
  • 5:57 Indian Standard Time (ISD)
  • 8:27 China Standard Time) (CST)
  • 9:27 Japan Standard Time (JST)
  • 10:27 Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
  • 13:27 (New Zealand Daylight Time).
Crew Dragon and Falcon 9 ahead of the launch at the hangar at Launch Complex 39A. Images via Twitter: @SpaceX

The mission was almost jeopardised after Elon Musk confirmed that the tested positive (and negative) for COVID-19 on the same day after undergoing four tests.

Furthermore, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said on Friday 13 November 2020 that “protocol ruled out the presence of anyone [including Musk] who tested positive at the Kennedy Space Center”.

“When somebody tests positive for Covid here at the Kennedy Space Center, and across NASA, it is our policy for that person to quarantine and self-isolate. So we anticipate that that will be taking place. And, you know, we’re looking to SpaceX to do any contact tracing that is appropriate.”

Jim Bridenstine

SpaceX and NASA’s Crew-1 mission schedule

Times listed below in South African Standard Time (SAST).

NASA TV’s continuous launch coverage will start at 22:15 on Sunday evening, 15 November. This will also include docking and opening the hatch, followed by a news conference.

The post-launch conference, in the interim scheduled for 4:15 Monday morning, will also feature NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and Federal Aviation Administration representative Steve Dickson, among others.

Other esteemed guests include associate administrator Kathy Lueders from NASA, as well as JAXA’s vice president and director-general, Hiroshi Sasaki, and a SpaceX representative.

Docking at ISS

Finally, Crew-1 will dock with the International Space Station at 6:00 on Tuesday morning, followed by a Welcome Ceremony at 8:40 and a post-docking news conference at 9:00.

On Thursday, 19 November, at a time yet to be determined, we will be treated to a Space Station news conference, featuring NASA astronauts Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, as well as JAXA astronaut and Soichi Noguchi.

spacex nasa astronauts crew-1 international space station
Posted by @Astro_Soichi (Noguchi Soichi), translated by @Maveriiick (Rob Gibbons). Caption:
“Crew-1 just finished final dress rehearsal, getting ready for Saturday launch! Behind me is the “real” Crew Dragon spacecraft”.

Also read: Elon Musk reportedly tested positive and negative for COVID-19, in one day Protection Status

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